Discovering a New Cycling Route from Kyoto to Osaka

The first time I rode a bicycle from Kyoto to Osaka, a year and a half ago (Cycling Along the River from Kyoto To Osaka Castle), the 55-kilometer (34-mile) route we were lead on followed roads and paths that traced the eastern bank of the Katsura River and then the southern bank of the Yodo River. For the most part it's a fine route, on nice paths closed to motor vehicles.

The initial paths out of Kyoto are the least developed part of the trip, so I came up with a less muddy, less bumpy exit from Kyoto, but otherwise I'd take the same route every time I went to or from Osaka (including rides blogged about here, here, here, and here).

I got to wondering why we always used only the one side of the river and not the other, and so while I was stuck at home sick over the New Year break, I spent days inspecting data (satellite photos, Strava ride data, etc.) to figure out what roads and paths were on the other side of the river, and updated OpenStreetMaps accordingly. It looked very promising.

Finally, on Jan 7th, I put it to use and gave it a try, resulting in a 101-mile ride down one side of the river and up the other (view at Strava), with various excursions in Osaka, including an all-out assault of the notorious Tenpozan (Mt. Tenpo) climb.

I started out at about 8:40am. I took my standard route south out of Kyoto, but then made my way over to the Katsura River, and at the 11km mark of the ride, crossed the bridge to start exploring areas I'd never ridden in.

Crossing the River into no-man's land -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Crossing the River
into no-man's land

Initially there's only a road (not a cycle path) hugging the river, but it has little traffic, and it gives way to a cycle path after a mile or so:

Cycling Road (sort of) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cycling Road
(sort of)

This entrance has the first of what turns out to be many of these infuriating gates. Ostensibly they are designed to keep scooters and motorcycles out, but practically speaking, they bang your bike and ankles and cause blood pressure to rise.

The (sort of) caption relates to the little sign to the right of the entrance, which says "this is not exclusive to bicycles; if you ride, share the road with pedestrians and mind your manners". Common sense that must be sufficiently uncommon to have prompted the sign. 🙁

Over the next 42km (26 miles) until the ocean, the route jumps on and off paths and roads in a simple, easy-to-follow way, except for at two locations where another river joins, and the way to connect across the wide mouth of the joining river is not straightforward.

It wasn't always apparent in my research just how reliable a path was. The first such iffy spot crossed the mouth of a joining river on a path that looked to be gravel, and indeed it was:

Shortcut Short section of dirt 9:34am - taken while moving at 10 kph (6 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Shortcut
Short section of dirt
9:34am - taken while moving at 10 kph (6 mph)

This short span (770m / half a mile) of dirt isn't too bad on a road bike, and cuts off a somewhat complex (but paved) route that's 2½ times longer. I'd take the latter if it were rainy.

The dirt path ends at a wide, beautifully-paved cycling path, but with a fully-closed gate that you have to lift the bike over...

Unsociable Gate the sign says “ No Parking ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unsociable Gate
the sign says No Parking

I didn't think anything would make me appreciate the ankle-biter gates, but here we are. I suppose I should just skip the shortcut dirt road and avoid the gate altogether.

Wide, Beautiful Path with a baseball game going on at right 9:38am - taken while moving at 22 kph (14 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wide, Beautiful Path
with a baseball game going on at right
9:38am - taken while moving at 22 kph (14 mph)

There are parks along much of the river on both sides, collectively known as the Yodogawa Riverside Park. Among the 30-ish miles of park are, as best I can figure from their online reservation system: 28 baseball fields, 7 additional tot-sized baseball fields, 49 tennis courts, 9 soccer fields, 2 mini-soccer fields, 7 gateball fields, 2 track-and-field areas, and numerous park-like places for kids to play and people to walk their dogs.

But even all that doesn't fill up the space much, and much of it is lovely nature:

Middle of Nowhere 9:42am - taken while moving at 28 kph (17 mph) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Middle of Nowhere
9:42am - taken while moving at 28 kph (17 mph)
Wide Open 10:04am - taken while moving at 31 kph (19 mph) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wide Open
10:04am - taken while moving at 31 kph (19 mph)
Landmark Across the River 10:05am - taken while moving at 30 kph (19 mph) -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 70mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Landmark Across the River
10:05am - taken while moving at 30 kph (19 mph)

My geographical knowledge is apparently quite compartmentalized, because even though I had ridden nearby (on the path on the other side of the river) many times, I had no real sense for where I was until I noticed the unique water-level-observation tower across the river, which is a landmark about halfway between my house and Osaka Castle.

Construction Detour blue wall blocks the cycling path down below -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Construction Detour
blue wall blocks the cycling path down below

I had to exit the big nice cycling path at one point due to construction slated to last for a few more months, so I returned to the road on the embankment above. There was a less-traveled road down below on the other side (to the right in the photo above), so once the construction is done, this area will have three roads to choose from.

Unmitigated Asshole -- Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unmitigated Asshole

I caught this asshole chucking a can into the weeds, and made him go back to pick it up. He was all nice and apologetic when I first framed it as you dropped something, but when I asked whether he thought this country was a trash can, he got all pissy at me.

I just can't comprehend what goes through some people's minds. Sigh. I'm sure he chucked it again the moment I was gone.

Runway 16 Right 10:54am - taken while moving at 18 kph (11 mph) -- Settsu, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Runway 16 Right
10:54am - taken while moving at 18 kph (11 mph)

What we have above looks to be IR16.0, but it's really a line pained across the path, followed by R 16.0, and it means 16 kilometers until the river ends, right bank. in Japanese, banks of a river are labeled left and right based on what side they are on when standing in the river and facing in the same direction as the flow of the water, so in this case, the north side I was riding on is the right bank, and occasionally these distance markers are painted large on the path.

First Sign of Downtown Osaka large buildings of the city visible in the far distance 10:54am - taken while moving at 29 kph (18 mph) -- Settsu, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
First Sign of Downtown Osaka
large buildings of the city visible in the far distance
10:54am - taken while moving at 29 kph (18 mph)
Three Paths 10:57am - taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Three Paths
10:57am - taken while moving at 32 kph (20 mph)

For a while I was riding up on the embankment cycling road. Down on the left is another cycling/service road, and on the right is a normal road. Depending on the wind and your whim, one can mix and match as they like.

Big Flood-Control Gates on the other side of the river, they mark the turnoff to Osaka Castle -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Flood-Control Gates
on the other side of the river, they mark the turnoff to Osaka Castle
Path for Shorter Riders or “ Aero position test ” , as Antti commented on this photo elsewhere -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Path for Shorter Riders
or Aero position test, as Antti commented on this photo elsewhere
Almost There 1.2km to go 11:40am - taken while moving at 29 kph (18 mph) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Almost There
1.2km to go
11:40am - taken while moving at 29 kph (18 mph)
End of the Road end of the river -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
End of the Road
end of the river
Wildlife Blinds nearby -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wildlife Blinds
nearby

Picking my way the 62km (39mi) here took a leisurely three hours.

After a short break, I thought I'd try ascending Tenpozan, Mt. Tenpo, which would require a 12km trip through the city, including through an underground tunnel under a river....

Going Down Elevator to an underground tunnel -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Going Down
Elevator to an underground tunnel
The Base of Mt. Tenpo Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 43mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Base of Mt. Tenpo
Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園)

Having arrived at the base, I steeled myself for the brutal climb to the top of the mountain.

Two minutes later, I had put the whole mountain's 4.5m (almost 15 whole feet) of vertical climb behind me, and summited!

Summit of Mt. Tempo just in front of the lady right of center -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Summit of Mt. Tempo
just in front of the lady right of center
“ Mt. Tenpo Summit ” -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mt. Tenpo Summit

The surveyed summit is actually a small marker on the ground seen near my bike in the photo above...

Summit Marker elevation 4.53 meters -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Summit Marker
elevation 4.53 meters

As you may have guessed, it's not really a mountain, but it's officially designated one by the Japanese Government. You can read about it, as I did, on its Wikipedia entry.

Well-Earned Victory -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Well-Earned Victory

As a joke, I made a Strava segment for the full climb, though it's sort of meaningless even beyond the meaninglessness of the 4.5m climb. It suffers from Undesirable Segment Trait #7, and all the top matches to the segment are mistakes. Still fun.

The mood at the little park was decidedly eerie because there were swarms of people walking around silently, aimlessly, in moving together in small groups but individually just looking at their phones. It was my first encounter with mass Pokemon Go.

Aimless Zombies -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Aimless Zombies
Wheel -- Mt. Tempo Park (天保山公園) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wheel
Maze of Steel a common sight throughout Osaka -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Maze of Steel
a common sight throughout Osaka
Oops -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Oops

As I flew by the scene, I took in that the truck had obviously taken the corner (just out of frame to the right) too quickly and dumped a bunch of its load, and thought perhaps I should stop and help, but there seemed to be plenty of people there. But moments later it sunk in that I had seen only one elderly man and some little kids, so I went back, took a photo, and got sticky.

The first order of business was to get the young kids, who had just stopped by to help while playing, off the busy road and onto the sidewalk side of things. As seen above, I was vibrantly fluorescent, so I worked on the road side of things, and together with others who stopped by to help, we got everything cleaned up and loaded back onto the truck. I asked the guy what would happen to the oranges... maybe donated to a zoo? He reacted like it was a good idea he hadn't thought of.

When we were done, I asked whether I could have a good orange to eat, which of course was given with thanks. My hands were bathed in dirty orange juice, so like the kids before me, I went off to find a place to wash them. Unlike the kids, I found a place close by, and when I returned to get my bike, found the man had put the kids' toys into a pile, along with a few good oranges, for them to enjoy when they returned.

Waiting Rewards -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Waiting Rewards

Continuing on my exploration, I passed by Universal Studios Japan, which I'd heard about often (Anthony has gone with his friends), but had never been to....

Passing By Universal Studios -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Passing By
Universal Studios
Crazy Ramp to get up to a bridge -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Crazy Ramp
to get up to a bridge

This ramp spirals up to get to a big bridge...

No Wheelchair Access last bit of the ramp -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
No Wheelchair Access
last bit of the ramp
Finally Up Top -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Up Top
View from the Bridge -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Bridge

As the bridge approached the other side, the most heinous-looking building I have ever seen came into view:

Ugliest Building Ever -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ugliest Building Ever

I didn't know what it was, but I assumed it must be a Love Hotel with a name along the lines of The Veined Penis, or something like that. It is truly hideous. It turns out that it's a trash-incinerator plant, so I suppose it's destined for self-immolation.

I passed by as quickly as I could.

Nope access to the next bridge is denied -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nope
access to the next bridge is denied

I suppose I should explain at this point what I was doing. After Mt. Tenpo, I wanted to try to head out to the ocean as far as possible, which meant hopping two man-made islands. I'd made it to the first, but was denied access to the only bridge to the second:

The island that I was on was getting built around the time I first came to Japan (1989). I tooled around it a bit. It has a lot of nature areas devoid of anything but a path going through, and occasionally a toilet:

Seemingly Mild-Mannered Toilet in the middle of nowhere on an island off the coast of Japan -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Seemingly Mild-Mannered Toilet
in the middle of nowhere on an island off the coast of Japan
Most Self-Important Bathroom Ever -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/80 sec, f/7.1, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Most Self-Important Bathroom Ever

The sign to the left of the entrance says Location Shooting Prohibited Without Permit!! and If Discovered, Police Will Be Contacted!!, each sentence replete with dual exclamation points.

Geez. It really difficult to imagine what events would have had to transpire to result in the need for a sign like this.

Returning to the Mainland -- 常吉大橋 -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Returning to the Mainland
End of the Yodo River or so I thought -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
End of the Yodo River
or so I thought

The picture above is looking up the river toward Osaka and Kyoto, but it turns out that it's not the Yodo River, but the confluence of it and two other rivers. Perhaps officially it's considered open sea? In any case, I had to ride almost a mile along the bank until I got to the river:

End of the River officially, “ L0.0 ” , across from where the land stops on the other side -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
End of the River
officially, L0.0, across from where the land stops on the other side
“ Yodo River Distance Marker ” Left Bank 0.0 Kilometers -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yodo River Distance Marker
Left Bank 0.0 Kilometers
60km to Kyoto -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
60km to Kyoto

I had 10km (6.2mi) to get to the turnoff to Osaka Castle, where I'd then join the cycling road that I've taken many times.

Starting Off Beautifully with downtown Osaka ahead in the distance 2:46pm - taken while moving at 28 kph (17 mph) -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting Off Beautifully
with downtown Osaka ahead in the distance
2:46pm - taken while moving at 28 kph (17 mph)
Yuck, Gravel some spans early on are gravel -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yuck, Gravel
some spans early on are gravel
Another Short-Rider Section -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Short-Rider Section
Approaching The Osaka-Castle Turnoff to finally join roads I'd done before, 50km from home -- Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching The Osaka-Castle Turnoff
to finally join roads I'd done before, 50km from home

When riding from Kyoto to Osaka, we'd never come through the gate here, so I somehow thought it was not possible. OpenStreetMap also showed it was not possible, but it was most assuredly possible, via the same ankle-biter gates seen everywhere else along this river. (After returning home, I updated this in OpenStreetMap, as well as many hours' worth of other updates based upon my actual experiences on the ride.)

Just Desserts Crepes at Cafe Morning Glory, southern Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Desserts
Crepes at Cafe Morning Glory, southern Kyoto

While enjoying my coffee and crepes, I noticed that I would almost have a 100-mile ride by the time I returned home, so I took a longer path home, so I got my 12th century ride (100+ mile ride).

Here's the Relive video of the ride:


One comment so far...

Many of the paths in this entry look rather idyllic… this must have been a really nice exploration.

— comment by David K. on February 8th, 2017 at 12:58pm JST (3 months, 14 days ago) comment permalink
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